What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other devices when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).

Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

How we use cookies

We use cookies for a number of different purposes. Some cookies are necessary for technical reasons; some enable a personalized experience for both visitors and registered users, and some allow the display of advertising from selected third party networks. Some of these cookies may be set when a page is loaded, or when a visitor takes a particular action (clicking the “like” or “follow” button on a post, for example).

Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.

For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.

Where we place cookies

We set cookies in a number of different locations across our services. These include:

  • On our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, and akismet.com).
  • In the administrative dashboard for wp-admin.

User Sites

In addition to the cookies set on our own sites, we utilize cookies for our Site Stats feature. This tallies the unique numbers of visitors to a site, as well as the number from specific geographic locations. A visitor is counted when we see a user or browser for the first time in a given period.

Visitors to this Blog with Jetpack installed

Below are examples of the cookies set for visitors to sites with the Jetpack plugin installed.

Jetpack Comments

Cookie Name Purpose
comment_author_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s name field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_email_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s email field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_url_{HASH} Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s URL field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes

Mobile Theme

Cookie Name Purpose
akm_mobile Remembers whether or not a user wishes to view the mobile version of a site.

Subscriptions

Cookie Name Purpose
jetpack_comments_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.
jetpack_blog_subscribe_{HASH} Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.

Controlling Cookies

Visitors may wish to restrict the use of cookies or completely prevent them from being set. Most browsers provide for ways to control cookie behaviour such as the length of time they are stored – either through built-in functionality or by utilizing third-party plugins. If you disable cookies, please be aware that some of the features of our service may not function correctly.

To find out more on how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org. For more details on your choices regarding use of your web browsing activity for interest-based advertising you may visit the following sites:

On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit ad tracking.

You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on.

Our Internal Analytics Tool

In order to better understand how our services are used, we monitor certain user activities that take place within our products, including page views and clicks on any links used when managing a site via our dashboards.

We call each one of these actions an “event.” Analytics events are attached to my WordPress.com account and are handled via a first party system that Automattic owns and maintains. In general, the following data is recorded for each event: IP address, WordPress.com user ID and username, WordPress.com-connected site ID (for sites not hosted on WordPress.com), user agent, referring URL, the timestamp of the event, browser language, and country code.

Contact Me

If you have any questions about our use of cookies, use the Contact Form to send me an email.